Evaluation of USF bio-diesel fueled bull-runner service

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - appraisal/evaluation, mode - bus


Alternate fuels, Biodiesel fuels, Bus transit, Costs, Diesel fuels, Florida, Fuel conservation, Fuel consumption, Performance, Petroleum


Biodiesel is the name given to an alternative fuel used in place of and along with conventional petroleum diesel fuels. Biodiesel fuels are derived from sources including oils such as those found in rapeseed, corn, mustard, soybean, sunflower, macadamia, coconut, and peanut seeds. They are also derived from animal fats through a procedure that removes the glycerin from the oil, leaving a clean burning fuel product that can be used in conventional compression ignition engines. These fuels hold advantages surpassed by most other unconventional fuel sources. The greatest of these, besides the ample emissions reductions, is the near 100% compatibility of biodiesel fuels in standard combustion ignition petroleum diesel engines. Biodiesel fuels can be blended with petroleum diesel at any proportion to achieve varying degrees of unwanted emission reductions. This paper summarizes and compares the performance of the University of South Florida (USF) Bull-Runner Shuttle (BRS) fleet during two six-month periods. The purpose of this examination is to determine the cost difference in terms of fuel efficiency for the transition from conventional biodiesel to petroleum diesel. The first six months (August 1, 2001 to January 31, 2002) observes the fleet operations six months prior to operating with biodiesel fuel, and the second six months (August 8, 2002 to January 31, 2003) observes the fleet of operations with biodiesel six months after transitioning to biodiesel.